Rafael Nadal Cincinnati Open 2022

Rafael Nadal dismisses decline talk and says he will ‘die’ to regain usual level

Rafael Nadal says he is not concerned his recent poor form is indicative of the start of a decline.

Nadal lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Finals in Turin to extend his losing streak to four matches.

The defeat followed losses to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open, Tommy Paul at the Paris Masters, and Taylor Fritz in his first round robin stage match in Turin.

It was a performance laden with uncharacteristic unforced errors which have led many to wonder whether there is a wider problem that Nadal is facing, but he says he has no real concerns.

โ€œI don’t think I forgot how to play tennis, how to be strong enough mentally,โ€ Nadal said after the match. โ€œI just need to recover all these positive feelings and all this confidence and all this strong mentality that I need to be at the level that I want to be.

โ€œI don’t know if I going to reach that level again. But what I don’t have any doubt is that I [am] going to die for it.โ€

One thing that has blighted Rafael Nadal this season is injuries. He battled a chronic foot problem in the first half of the year, although he did win two Grand Slam titles with it. Since Wimbledon he has suffered two abdominal tears too.

โ€œ[There are a] couple of positive things,โ€ Nadal said. โ€œI was able to play two tournaments in the past three weeks. That’s the positive thing, something that I was not able to do for a while.โ€

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